Women's Studies faculty and graduate students gather for a group photo at the conclusion of the May 1 event

Sunshine and the scent of flowers enveloped Rackham Assembly Hall on the afternoon of May 1, 2018, making an ideal day for Women’s Studies’ annual Spring Symposium. A longstanding tradition in the department, the Spring Symposium provides faculty and graduate students an opportunity to celebrate the end of the academic year while discussing the successes and roadblocks of their ongoing research.

Professors Petra Kuppers and Sara McClelland organized and emceed this year’s event, leading participants in a conversation about what it means to live a feminist life. To help ground this broad theme, six faculty presenters provided insights from their own work, discussing topics as wide-ranging as the role of exercise in African American women’s lives to the popularity of country music among Mexican Americans. Institute for Research on Women and Gender director Anna Kirkland then provided commentary about the future of feminist scholarship at the University of Michigan, and opened conversation about the matter to all attendees of the symposium.

Following a lively discussion, Director of Graduate Studies Liz Wingrove took the stage to present the McGuigan Prize for best essay on women and gender to the following students:

  • Sara Chadwick, Women’s Studies and Psychology PhD candidate
  • Colleen Towler, Master of Social Work and LGBTQ Studies Certificate student

Professor Wingrove then honored seven students who completed one of Women's Studies Joint PhD programs in the past year, reading brief comments about their scholarly achievements from their advisors. The following students were recognized: 

  • Sarah Bell, Women's Studies and Psychology
  • Scott DeOrio, Women's Studies and History
  • Kevin Goodman, Women's Studies and Psychology
  • Amanda Healy, Women's Studies and English
  • Christina LaRose, Women's Studies and English
  • Brittany Maugeri, Women's Studies and History
  • Kate Silbert, Women's Studies and History

To conclude the day, department chair Rosie Ceballo led a recognition toast for Women's Studies' retiring faculty members. Professor Ceballo provided comments and memories about the career of Professor Dena Goodman, while Professor Susan Siegfried did the same for Professor Deborah Keller-Cohen. 

All photos courtesy of Leisa Thompson.